In my weekly pregnancy updates you will have seen due to the fact that my pregnancy is high risk the hospital would like to induce me at term. I am very keen to avoid this! With Monkey I went 16 days over and in the end they could have broken my waters rather than hooking me up to a drip. Thankfully a well-aimed sweep and a four mile hike got things moving. This time round I’ve decided to be a little more prepared and have been trying other methods to try and ensure a natural birth.
- Chiropractor Visits – I have kept up regular appointments with my local Chiropractor. Being four years older at 36 I was worried I would suffer with additional pregnancy related aches and pains but now at almost 36 weeks I am happy to say I have avoided anything to date and I am sure this is down to having regular check ups and adjustments. Especially with the amount of driving I have to do for work. You can find out more here.
- Acupuncture – There are two forms, techniques for labour preparation and then techniques for natural labour induction. I have yet to start mine but I will begin with the first technique in weeks 37 and 38 and then depending on how its going move onto the natural labour induction at 39 and 40 weeks. The practitioner I am using has come recommend by my NCT coach and has a very good track record so fingers crossed.
- Raspberry Leaf – I did try the actual tea version of this last time round but didn’t really like it and often forgot! So it wasn’t very effective. However it is now possible to take it in capsule form with food. Advice varies on when you should start, however at my antennal classes it was suggested at 36 weeks. Raspberry leaf doesn’t actually bring on labour instead it is meant to help tone the muscles used during birth. Not necessarily speeding it up but ensuring that it progresses at a good pace. Last time round I had an adrenaline rush when gas and air made me throw up which meant I completely stopped contracting at 7cm. Which was a little disappointing to say the least and resulted in my transfer to hospital. Although I can’t have a home birth this time round, I would like to keep things progressing relatively quickly so figured this was worth ago.
- Birthing Ball – Kipper is in the right position according to my last scan and I want to keep him there so I have been trying to sit on the birthing ball in the evenings, with a little bit of bouncing thrown in for good measure. Although it does make using a laptop interesting! My chiropractor suggested using an ironing board as a desk when I was doing this so that it’s the right height which was pure genius!
- Perineal Massage – Its recommend to start this at 34 weeks but to be honest doing any is better than nothing. I am a big believer in perineal massage as until Monkey got stuck I had managed a ventouse with no tearing. I am sure this was because of the massage. It can be a bit of a taboo and I do know pregnant women that have refused to do it. I must admit when I first did my research 4 years ago I did think getting your partner to help was probably a step too far…after all that’s why I was pregnant in the first place! But its simple and takes around 5 minutes and the benefits of reducing the risk of an episiotomy and tearing far out weigh having to fit it into your schedule. I think one of the things that can put people off is finding the right product to use, when I went to the baby show this was on my buy list having failed to find anything I was comfortable using. It’s here I came across the Natural Birthing Company, which has been formed by midwives to help mothers before and during the birthing process offering antenatal classes and aromatherapy products. They sell an oil called Down Below which I have been using:
As midwives we recognise the benefits of perineal massage and have therefore developed this unique fragrane free blend of natural oils designed espically for this delicate area. Rosehip oil ad Evening Primrose oils have been carefully chosen to help support the skins natural elasticity, both are rich in Omega oils & fatty acids.
I have been very impressed with it to date and would highly recommend considering it.
- Walking – I am sure this is what got Monkey moving in the end, we went on a four mile hike and that evening I went into labour. I have tried to remain as active as possible during this pregnancy and to be honest having a pre-schooler who doesnt like to be in doors has definately helped. Although I now stryggle with a whole day looking around a National Trust property etc I can manage a good 4 or 5 hours. Doing this a couple of times a week has made a big difference. Once I am on maternity leave I intend to go for short walk every day. Not only will it help Kipper stay in that optimum position it builds my strength for the delivery
The one I have missed out above is yoga this is simply because I can’t fit it into my schedule although I do have some pregnancy yoga DVDs which may well make an appearance once I am on maternity leave next week. The benefits of reduced stress, increased relaxation and muscle strengthening will all help you prepare for the birth of your baby.
During Birth :
- Water – I spent the fist half my labour up to 7cm in a birthing pool and I am hoping to do this with Kipper as well. My orginal plan was to have this as my only form of pain releif, which would have happened if I hadn’t ended up being transferred into hospital. I was so relaxed I was falling asleep between contractions. However if you can’t manage a birthing pool even just a well aimed hot shower on the base of the lower back can help when labour first starts. I also know of women who have spent as much time as possible in the shower through out their labour.
- Clary Sage – I didnt use this last time round but the lady in this hynobirthing video below did and it obviousy helped her. If you are looking for inspiration on what a natural birth looks like then check out the video below:
- Hypnobirthing – Although Monkey’s birth was not like the one above in the end (although up to 7cm it was and this was what I was aiming for) we had a number of Hypnobirthing sessions first time round and a refresher this time. I am sure that it helped us make the difficult deicisons we needed to last time. Its a great aid for relaxation, fear release and empowerment during the birthing process. Even if you are having a planned c-section I would still recommend using the relaxation techniques to help you prepare.
- Active Labour – Based on my last experience as soon as I became bed bound everything went to pot. With Kipper I have had long discussions with the consultant about remaining active on the ball and in the water or just walking around the delivery suite if I feel like it which means not being constantly hooked up to a machine unless its essential.
- Arnica – Because of the drugs I am on this time round I need to check with my midwife around taking Arnica however the British Homeopathic Association suggests various medicines which can be used before and during labour. Last time round I took arnica as I went into labour and for 3 days afterwards, if its safe for me to do so I will be doing the same this time round.
There are lots of other old wives tales that are also suppose to help, believe we we tried everything last time round…. and I mean everything! Pineapple, hot curry, sex, running up and down the stairs none of it actually worked for Monkey. He was always going to come when he was ready and not before. I am sure Kipper will be the same but there is nothing wrong with being prepared.
And just while we are on the subject of natural labour, stock up on lavender and tea tree oils for post birth. They were amazing in the bath and made all the difference.
Did you go over term with your baby? I would love to hear of ways you tried to get your baby moving in the comments below.
If you have enjoyed this post then this is a bit of a shameless plug, I have been nominated for the MADs under the pregnancy, craft and pre-school categories and would really appreciate it if you could spare a few minutes to also vote for me, by clicking on the badge below which takes you to nomination page. I honestly would be so grateful the awards close on 8th April. Thank you xx